It's mad that we’re back in it again.
On the one hand it seems to have taken forever, on the other, feels like Manchester City lifting the Premier League trophy was just a few weeks ago. Either way, thank f**k, weekends are restored to normality!
I’ve got so much to say, just don’t know where to start.
All the bits and pieces that are buzzing around my head, it’s like I stuck a shard of crystalised Premier League in a pipe.
I think I’ll kick off with an irritation, this new wall rule? Yes, we understand with the introduction of VAR, the idea is to eradicate ANY form of controversy, after all controversy ain’t good for business.
But when I saw Liverpool players in a wall at nine yards, in front of the Norwich wall at 10 yards, I thought, FFS, just leave it alone will you. They’re just trying to negate contact/niggling that’s not what football is!
We’re already starting to witness, with the various VAR hold-ups during the weekend, that the game as we knew it has taken another step away from the reality of today.
Friday night was great though, getting indoors for a 9 o’clock kickoff. Not the greatest fixture, but turned out to be a decent game.
Despite the 4-1 scoreline, I thought Norwich were excellent with two or three outstanding individual performances.
They pushed the ball around well, made great movement and given another night could have scored two or three goals themselves.
That’ll worry Liverpool, the way they were prised open on a number of occasions and with the loss of Alisson, the three-point start wasn’t as perfect as some fans have been spouting.
Tomorrow night’s “club friendly” against Chelsea in Istanbul will feel more like a hassle than anything else as the season gets underway.
So please, if Liverpool win it, just leave me off, I don’t care, means nothing.
Before the football kicked off, I think a lot of us were completely surprised by a few last-minute transfers that went through.
David Luiz to Arsenal for £8.5m was unexpected? Personally not particularly bothered, liked him at times, but not the type of solid defender we’ll need moving forward with an attack-minded Frank Lampard at the helm.
Arsenal, of course, will look at him as a defender/ ball player, but surely they need a Van Dijk-type central commander to secure up their back-line? Something I’m not sure Luiz brings.
Then Alex Iwobi popped off to Everton. For me one of the Gunners’ best players. Always dangerous in his role, I guess he was frustrated with a lack of game time at the Emirates.
He wrote a lovely open letter to Arsenal fans on his departure, unlike Laurent Koscielny, who “disrespected” the club with a stupid shirt swap video on social media, incensing the likes of Ian Wright, who took to Twitter to vent his anger!
With Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil being withdrawn from the squad over “further security fears” following an attempted knife attack a couple of weeks ago, Arsenal’s big dip into the market has been a bit overshadowed.
Anyway, on to Sunday I know you’re all waiting to hear my reflections.
I’m not unhappy! Of course taking four against anyone is a hard pill to swallow, but looking at how we bossed most of the game, I was hugely encouraged by what I saw.
On another day Chelsea could have been celebrating a 4-0 win.
With N’Golo Kante, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Antonio Rudiger all close to returning, I feel a decent season coming on.
In the meantime, to all you Red Devils out there, enjoy the victory, your team looks just like it did last season, a penalty and a couple of breakaway goals stole the show and fooled those that didn’t watch.
But I’d go as far as saying the Blues will definitely end up higher that United. OK, let me have it then...